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The Dangers of Energy Drinks ~ AUTHOR: William J. Starbird, MD, FAAFP

The Dangers of Energy Drinks ~ AUTHOR: William J. Starbird, MD, FAAFP
Family Medicine Physician of North Branch Family HealthCare – Marlette Regional Hospital

As we head into the warm summer months where our young athletes may be playing softball and baseball, attending summer camps or practices, let’s take a moment to talk about the dangers of addictive substances that are readily available to teens and young adults in the form of energy drinks.

For the context of this article, we define an energy drink as a beverage that contains large amounts of caffeine, sugars, additives, and legal stimulants such as guarana and taurine, and are distinct from sports drinks and vitamin waters like Gatorade, Powerade, and Vitamin Water. As one of the fastest growing US beverage markets, energy drinks claim to improve energy, alertness, weight loss, stamina, and athletic performance. Energy drinks that you’ve heard of or encountered probably include ones like Redbull, Amp Energy, Monster, 5-Hour Energy, Rockstar, NOS Energy, and JOLT, among many others.

So what’s the big deal about these energy drinks? The big deal is that these drinks are NOT regulated by the FDA as they are classified as dietary supplements, and there is staggering evidence and reports that link consumption to serious health risks in adolescents like seizures, dehydration, anxiety, stroke, and heart complications such as irregular heart beat and sudden cardiac arrest. Bottom line, they are not safe for adolescents.

Aside from their addictive nature, many of these drinks contain more than the recommended level of caffeine safe for daily consumption. That level according to The American Academy of Pediatrics is 100 mg/day or less for adolescents aged 12 to 18. Many of these drinks exceed that daily amount. So if you factor in any other caffeinated beverages that a teen may consume in a day such as coffee or soda, or perhaps multiple energy drinks, that daily value has far exceeded that safe daily value.

To the athletes that may be reading this article, stick to the good stuff that is going to help replenish your water and electrolyte levels—that is what helps you perform better. To the parents and coaches reading this article, model good behavior by not consuming these drinks and share with your teens the dangers of consuming energy drinks.

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Visitor Restrictions for all MRH-Owned Facilities

We are updating our Visitor Restrictions to the following:

o Emergency Department –
▪ One designated visitor that must remain in the ED the whole time, once the visitor leaves, they will not be permitted to return until the patient is discharged.
▪ Pediatric patients under the age of 17, two healthy parents that must remain at the bedside.
▪ Extenuating circumstances such as critical care, possible end-of-life-state, will be handled case-by-case.
▪ Patients presenting with COVID symptoms-No visitors until the COVID test comes back negative. If it comes back positive the patient will continue to have no visitors.

o Surgical Services – one bed-side visitor that must remain in the patient’s room
▪ Pediatric patients under the age of 17 in any setting are allowed two parents/relatives to be present
o Inpatient, Observation, Swing Bed Patients –
▪ Two visitors per patient at a time that must stay in the patients room the whole time.
▪ Visitors ages 13 – 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
▪ Patients admitted that are COVID positive, No visitors in the COVID rooms.
▪ Extenuating circumstances such as critical care, possible end-of-life-state, will be handled case-by-case.

o Long-Term Care (LTC) – please contact the LTC at 989-635-4400o Hospice – Visitation shall be accommodated, please check in at the Hospice Residence Nurses Station.

o Outpatient Testing – only the patient, unless the patient is under the age of 17, then a parent may accompany
▪ Unless extenuating circumstances require a visitor to be present

o Outpatient Procedure with Sedation – one bed-side visitor that must remain in the patient’s room
▪ Pediatric patients under the age of 17 in any setting are allowed two parents/relatives to be present

o Physician Office Appointments – one visitor accompanying the patient
• ALL allowed visitors must pass health screening prior to visit and are required to wear a mask at all times for the duration of their visit. Visitors that fail to follow this requirement will be asked to leave.
• Visitor accommodations shall be flexible in all care settings for patients with physical or mental disabilities of any kind, including patients who are deaf, hard of hearing and / or blind.
• If more visitors present than are allowed to visit, the excess visitors will be asked to remain in their vehicle.
• All visitors will be required to socially distance themselves from the patient, other visitors and all staff.
We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 activity in our area along with the surrounding communities and updating patient visitation accordingly and / or as allowed by state and federal regulations.


UPDATED HOSPITAL VISITATION
6.13.2022 @ 12:00 pm
2770 Main Street | Marlette, MI 48453 | 989-635-4000 | marletteregionalhospital.org